Hillary Nanspian of Chimsworthy was a big, brisk, florid man, with light grey eyes. His face was open, round, hearty, and of the colour of a ribstone pippin. He was, to all appearance, a well-to-do man. But appearances are not always to be trusted. Chimsworthy, where he lived, was a farm of two hundred acres; the subsoil clay, some of the land moor, and more bog; but the moor was a fine place for sheep, and the bog produced pasture for the young stock when the clay grass land was drought-dry. Hillary had an orchard of the best sorts of apples grown in the West, and he had a nursery of apples, of grafts, and of seedlings. When he ate a particularly good apple, he collected the pips for sowing, put them in a paper cornet, and wrote thereon, 'This here apple was a-eated of I on ——,' such and such a day, 'and cruel good he were too.' (Cruel, in the West, means no more than 'very.')
The farm of Chimsworthy had come to Nanspian through his wife, who was dead. His brother-in-law was Taverner Langford of Langford. Taverner's mother had been a Hill, Blandina Hill, heiress of Chimsworthy, and it went to her daughter Blandina, who carried it when she married to her Cornish husband, Hillary Nanspian.
This is not a guide-book, but an introduction to the country, to be supplemented by guide-books. The area is so extensive, that I have had to exercise restraint and limit myself to a few of the most salient features and most profitable centres whence excursions may be made. The Cévennes should be visited from March to June, afterwards the heat is too great for travelling to be comfortable. For inns, consult the annual volume of the French Touring Club; Baedeker and Joanne cannot always be relied on, as proprietors change, either for the better or for the worse. I have been landed in unsatisfactory quarters by relying on one or other of these guide-books, owing to the above-mentioned reason.
The "Touring-Club de France," Avenue de la Grande Armée 65, Paris, is doing excellent work in refusing to recommend a hotel unless the sanitary arrangements be up-to-date.